Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
By Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency
The just-concluded India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue in India witnessed Pakistan delegation travelling to Patna, Bihar upon the invitation of Chief Minister Bihar Honourable Mr. Nitish Kumar on August 25, 2012.
Pakistan delegation that returned from India on August 26 participated in the India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue in New Delhi on August 23-24, 2012 and travelled to Patna, Bihar on August 25, 2012 for a day-long interaction.
While in Patna, the delegation met with the Chief Minister Bihar Honourable Mr. Nitish Kumar anddiscussed with him his governance initiatives in turning around the state of Bihar. Representatives of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz Honourable Mr. Zahid Hamid, MNA, (NA-114, Sialkot-V, Punjab, PML-N), Honourable Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, MNA and Honourable Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA presented to the Bihar Chief Minister an invitation from Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to visit Lahore. Honourable Senator Muhammad Jehangir Bader, Leader of the House, Senate of Pakistan and Honourable Senator Dr. Saeeda Iqbal invitedthe Chief Minister Bihar to visit Islamabad; Honourable Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel,Senior Vice President ANP invited him to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Honourable Mir Amer Ali Khan Magsi, MNA invited Mr. Nitish Kumar to visit Balochistan. An invitation to Chief Minister Bihar to visit Sindh has already been officially extended.
Chief Minister Bihar, Honourable Mr. Nitish Kumar, who graciously accepted the invitations extended, indicated that late November or early December 2012 may be the possible period in which he may travel to Pakistan.
Visiting the historic Khuda Bux Oriental Public Library in Patna, the delegation was briefed about the history of the library and saw some of the rarest manuscripts and publications in possession of the library. The Pakistan Parliamentary delegation was the first-ever Parliamentary delegation from Pakistan to have ever visited the Khuda Bux Oriental Public Library.
A visit to Maner Sharif, a religious shrine an hour away from Patna, was also arranged for the Pakistan delegation during the visit.
Photo Courtesy PILDAT
The Pakistan delegation was enthralled by the riveting rendering of Sufi music by the Indian artist Ustaad Maa Zila Khan, daughter of Ustad Vilayat Khan, at the dinner reception hosted in the honour of the delegation by Honourable Mr. N. K. Singh, Member Rajya Sabha, at Patna. Alongside his cabinet, Leader of the opposition and MLAs of Bihar Vidhan Savha, Honourable Mr. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister Bihar, was also in attendance at the dinner reception.
Earlier, the Pakistan Parliamentarians interacted in a two-day Dialogue, the 4th round of MPs Dialogue, in New Delhi on August 23-24, 2012. A Joint Statement agreed to by the Parliamentarians from two sides has offered recommendations to the Governments of Pakistan and India on issues relating to Visas, Education, Health, Local Government and Media, amongst others. The Joint Statement can be accessed here
PILDAT(www.pildat.org) has been facilitating dialogues between Parliamentarians of Pakistan and India in order to enhance the role of Parliamentary Diplomacy in improving neighbourly ties in the region and around the World. It is to PILDAT’s credit that it has pinoneered interactions at the sub-national level between the two countries now.
To-date, PILDAT has facilitated 3 rounds of Dialogues: in Islamabad onJanuary 06-07, 2011; in Delhi on August 17-18, 2011 and the latest Dialogue was held on January 17-18, 2012 in Islamabad. The 4th and latest round concluded in New Delhi on August 23-24, 2012..
Background Papers were especially commissioned as a Background to the Dialogue. These include:
- Pakistan-India Relations: The Revived Dialogue and the Future Prospects, authored by Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi, renowned Defence and Political Analyst of Pakistan
2. Prospects of Improving Pakistan-India Relations through Media, authored by Mr. Javed Jabbar, renowned Scholar, former Senator and Federal Minister for Information and Media Development, Pakistan
A Report on Pace & Progress of Pakistan-India Resumed Dialogue was also prepared by PILDAT as a background for the Parliamentarians Dialogue.
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